Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This is NOT a hate crime?

There is no excuse for this incident last week, a deliberate attack against a lesbian couple outside a school in Oshawa where they were picking up one of their children. The Durham Police have charged the attacker with assault but say that the decision of whether to pursue this as a hate crime lies with the county's Crown Attorney.

Nope. Wrong. If this isn't a hate crime I don't know what is. The circumstances clearly dictate that it is hate, and prosecutors should have no discretion. I believe the law needs to be changed, so that it should be up to a jury to rule whether an aggravating circumstance of hate is involved; if so the sentence that would normally be imposed would be automatically doubled. Where the maximum would be life, the parole eligibility should be doubled. (Presently, the law permits the trial judge to consider a tougher sentence for a hate crime but is not legally bound to impose one.)

That would send a message that we're not going to take this crap anymore. Whether it's a so-called "honour killing," dragging a Native off the streets and into the back country, or going after someone because of their sexual orientation, hate is hate. Period.

Until we get that one fact straight, no one will trust the police or prosecutors to do the job they're supposed to.

Vote for this post at Progressive Bloggers.


penlan said...

Hear, Hear!

Devin Maxwell said...

"the decision of whether to pursue this as a hate crime lies with the county's Crown Attorney"

What's the problem? The decision to proceed with a prosecution under the hate crime provisions of the Criminal Code is a very nuanced legal one. It is not one that should, and rarely is, made by the police. If the elements of a hate crime are there and the prosecutor believes he (or she) can make out the case, then I am sure that the appropriate charges will be laid.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering, but on the tv they said the guy was upset because they talked to his son about lesbianism.

1)What the guy did was unforgivable but would he have attacked the women just for being lesbians, or for attempting to in his mind "corrupt" his child. This might make a difference in determining if it is a hate crime.

2) If they talked to his kid, why? Now i'm all for their right to be gay, get married and everything, but i'm also for a parent's right to raise their kid and instruct them on moral issues.

3)Should we have hate crimes? Why does the motive change the punishment? Perhaps it should change the rehabilitation, but to me a crime is a crime.